By Chioma Obinna
On this year’s World Malaria Day, the Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative, YEDI, in collaboration with ExxonMobil is organising a special community football event tagged “Kick Against Malaria Football Tournament” in line with this year’s global theme – ”End Malaria For Good”.
The exercise is targeted at combating the scourge of Malaria using the convening power of football as an effective teaching platform for mobilizing and empowering young people and communities on malaria prevention and treatment.
The tournament is billed to hold at the Youth Centre (Bishop Aggey), Mushin area of Lagos this weekend between the hours of 10 AM to 2PM and participation is free.
The tourney which is proudly supported by Global energy giant – ExxonMobil, the largest private-sector grant-maker in the fight against malaria will take place alongside other activities including free medical checkups, Malaria testing and treatment, distribution of long-lasting insecticidal treated nets, key messages and health talk on Malaria, music and refreshment, among other activities.
World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, a decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment to support countries in their efforts to control and eliminate Malaria as well as provide education and understanding of Malaria.
On such occasions, well-meaning individuals, multinational organizations, and corporations like ExxonMobil, and grassroots organizations such as YEDI, work together to provide free Malaria education, testing, treatment, awareness and advocacy for policy changes to push back the scourge.
In a statement signed by the Communication officer of YEDI, Mr. Lucky Ihansa, sustained efforts by corporations, individuals and organizations on Malaria awareness, prevention and control are yielding results.
According to him, malaria mortality rate in the WHO African region has fallen by 54 percent and by 47 percent globally since 2000 with ExxonMobil as the leading private investor in Malaria, with an investment of over $140 million. This also includes the distribution of millions of bed nets, doses of anti-malarial drugs and rapid diagnostic kits.
“ExxonMobil’s support for the fight against malaria also includes investments in people who tackle the disease from all angles. Among other interventions, ExxonMobil and its partners have also trained about 500,000 health workers to keep at-risk communities vigilant against the disease.”
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